"Hitler is a Bully": Middle School Students' Perspectives on Holocaust Education in Greater Victoria, British Columbia




Wood, Natasha

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This study investigates middle school students’ interest in learning about the Holocaust, which methods are the most effective at teaching the Holocaust and how the testimony of Holocaust survivors can be retold to the next generations of middle school students. In order to answer these research questions, my study uses surveys with three classes of current middle school students in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, a focus group with graduate students at the University of Victoria and an interview with Larissa Weber, the director of the Anne Frank Exhibition in Berlin. These quantitative and qualitative results are analyzed using a mixed methods approach. The middle school students’ perceptions regarding effective educational methods when teaching the Holocaust in my limited sample (n=77 in the first survey and n=58 in the second survey) suggest that there is a connection between personal narrative and empathy when teaching the Holocaust in middle school classrooms. These findings are contextualized with a summary of the history of Holocaust education in Canadian public schools and a discussion regarding the role of empathy in learning about the Holocaust.



Bullying, Canada, Education, Educational Methods, Holocaust Survivor, Greater Victoria, Middle School Student, Teacher, Testimony, Tolerance, Learning, Racism, Study, Survey, Qualitative, Quantitative, Focus Group, Interview